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Tesla’s Troubles Spur Rumors That Apple Might Purchase The Strapped Company

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Financial analysts are exploring the possibility that Apple might outright purchase Tesla if the electric vehicle company cannot prove critics wrong and turn a profit after years of lagging sales.

Media talking heads and Wall Street insiders believe the time for the iPhone maker to acquire Tesla might be coming sooner rather than later. An acquisition would be on the table, they claim, if the Silicon Valley automaker is unable to get on a strong financial footing.

“Tesla would no longer have to be a public company. Tim Cook would be the steady hand, and Elon Musk would be the renewable energy visionary. A $10 billion cash infusion would all but eliminate any current or future cash problems for Tesla,” Gene Muster, a venture capitalist and writer at Loupventures, wrote in a blog post Monday before calling the scenario as a longshot.

“There is a deal Tesla might accept, but Apple likely wouldn’t. Tesla might agree to a $10 billion cash investment from Apple if Apple were to accept non-voting shares and have no operational influence,” he noted, adding that an Apple-Tesla merger might actually water down both companies’ unique culture. Still, the idea of a major collaboration might be irresistible for CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla was thrown into disarray after Musk told his Twitter followers in an Aug. 7 post that he secured “funding” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. His tweet followed a report suggesting Saudi Arabia became a major Tesla shareholder earlier in 2018. (RELATED: Elon Musk Abandons Plan To Take Tesla Private Amid Turmoil Within The Company)

The announcement roiled the company and prompted a full-blown federal investigation. But it also demonstrated the lengths to which Musk is trying to keep the plates spinning on a company that continually hemorrhages money. He also desperately wants to pull the company out of the mercantile exchange if for no other reason than to ding short-sellers who criticize his projects.

Fortune writer Kevin Kelleher also expressed the possibility Apple’s Tim Cook might be smart to buy out Tesla.

“Some Tesla investors are suggesting that it may be time for Apple to consider starting discussions,” Kelleher noted in an Aug. 21 article. “And an exhausted Musk, who is under pressure to keep increasing production of Tesla’s Model 3s, could use the help.”

He was referring to Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, an investment management that owns Tesla shares, who told CNBC on Aug. 20 that Tesla’s drop in market value could be “Tim Cook’s gift of all gifts.”

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